Time-energy uncertainty relation for noisy quantum metrology

TitleTime-energy uncertainty relation for noisy quantum metrology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsFaist, P, Woods, MP, Albert, VV, Renes, JM, Eisert, J, Preskill, J
JournalPRX Quantum
Date Published12/5/2023
KeywordsFOS: Physical sciences, Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Detection of weak forces and precise measurement of time are two of the many applications of quantum metrology to science and technology. We consider a quantum system initialized in a pure state and whose evolution is goverened by a Hamiltonian H; a measurement can later estimate the time t for which the system has evolved. In this work, we introduce and study a fundamental trade-off which relates the amount by which noise reduces the accuracy of a quantum clock to the amount of information about the energy of the clock that leaks to the environment. Specifically, we consider an idealized scenario in which Alice prepares an initial pure state of the clock, allows the clock to evolve for a time t that is not precisely known, and then transmits the clock through a noisy channel to Bob. The environment (Eve) receives any information that is lost. We prove that Bob's loss of quantum Fisher information (QFI) about t is equal to Eve's gain of QFI about a complementary energy parameter. We also prove a more general trade-off that applies when Bob and Eve wish to estimate the values of parameters associated with two non-commuting observables. We derive the necessary and sufficient conditions for the accuracy of the clock to be unaffected by the noise. These are a subset of the Knill-Laflamme error-correction conditions; states satisfying these conditions are said to form a metrological code. We provide a scheme to construct metrological codes in the stabilizer formalism. We show that there are metrological codes that cannot be written as a quantum error-correcting code with similar distance in which the Hamiltonian acts as a logical operator, potentially offering new schemes for constructing states that do not lose any sensitivity upon application of a noisy channel. We discuss applications of our results to sensing using a many-body state subject to erasure or amplitude-damping noise.